A collection of short stories and journalistic commentaries depicting my simple life
and how I fit in with the modern day universe of our times

Technology has never moved faster, and computer based technology is at the forefront of it all. Hardly a day goes by without some new development which will supposedly help us all to do it quicker, cheaper or better - or all of those things. 

For most of us, quietly going about the business of trying to get obscenely rich beyond our wildest dreams, it's an exciting time. But it's also a frightening one.

And the main fear is that we're getting left behind.

This fear is excellent news for the computer industry, because we spend a small fortune on new computer systems and software to make ourselves feel better... and then wonder what the hell to do with it all when we get it home, or back to the office.

To paraphrase Winston Churchill, never has so little been done by so many with so much! Most computer systems and software packages are chronically under-utilised, and yet fear makes us still buy more and more of the same.

It's like buying a ten ton truck and then using it to bring home the shopping from Sainsburys! (The only person I've actually seen do this by the way is Chris Eubank, which sort of speaks for itself). There's more spare capacity than we can ever use, and it's often not even the best tool for the job.

In my humble little business I process an average of 300 individual orders each year. Some days it can be as many as 5. And yet it's all done on software which is twelve years old...

And in computer terms that's prehistoric!

But I'll let you into a secret - the computer system I have at home which is used for, erm... realistically no more than playing games on, is far more advanced than the one I use to control a small business!

'Experts' look at what I use and laugh. But here's the interesting thing... it works, the job gets done, and not one of these experts has been able to put forward any viable alternative which, on close examination, provides measurable benefits in excess of the inevitable problems and disruption which a change would cause.

Not that the so called 'experts' see it that way.

You see, they're in love with the technology and they're in awe of what it can do. But these are just features. But as people more concerned with making or saving money with the technology, we need to look at benefits too...

I mean, how we can turn these product features into a profit.

Some entrepreneurs will always immerse themselves in the technology itself, rather than the real and tangible profit making benefits it can bring to their enterprise.

These are the same people who buy a hi-fi system with 1001 buttons, knobs and dials... and spend hours painstakingly adjusting them before carefully inserting their Motorhead CD.

It's a counterproductive and time-wasting approach.

For the most part, it seems that software and hardware advances create solutions to problems which simply don't exist, or aren't really important to us, or central to our personal success.

And as the saying goes: "If you've got a pile of
shit to shift you won't do it any
better or quicker with a silver plated shovel."

So what I'm suggesting is that you look carefully at your business or personal needs. If there are piles of 'shit', think very carefully about whether that new shovel (yes I know it's got some nice engraving on the handle) is really worth the additional investment. Will it pay for itself, or would your old shovel continue to do the job just as well?

My second suggestion is that you take a fresh look at the tools you already have - your computer hardware and software. I know that when you do you'll more than likely discover features and applications which you didn't even know were there.

For example, I was recently surprised to find a number of features on my database programme (the one I've been using for the last 12 years!) which I didn't even know about. I was even more surprised to find that I already had two pieces of software which incorporate a perfectly acceptable web page design function, just after I'd gone out and bought something new for that specific purpose.

Technology is a tool to help us make more money, and our lives a little easier...

Nothing more, and nothing less...

So look at each apparent new development in those simple and clinical terms and you'll probably save yourself a whole lot of time, a great deal of money, and a whole barrow load of stress when it comes to relearning what you already knew.

Call me old fashioned if you like, but if it works why try fixing it?

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Its my own fault really, its all about what I see in the world, and how it all translates for me.

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